Joanna Bourke

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Joanna Bourke

Born1963 (age 55–56)
Blenheim, New Zealand
AwardsRonald Tress Prize (1993)
Fraenkel Prize in Contemporary History (1998)
Wolfson History Prize (2000)
Fellow of the British Academy (2014)
Academic background
Alma materUniversity of Auckland
Australian National University
ThesisHusbandry to Housewifery: Rural Women and Development in Ireland, 1890–1914 (1989)
Academic work
InstitutionsBirkbeck, University of London
Emmanuel College, Cambridge
Australian National University
Main interestsSocial and cultural history
Violence and emotions
Modern warfare
Notable worksAn Intimate History of Killing (1999)

Joanna Bourke, FBA (born 1963) is an historian and academic. She is professor of history at Birkbeck, University of London.


Born to Christian missionary parents, Bourke was brought up in New Zealand, Zambia, Solomon Islands and Haiti.[1] She attended the University of Auckland, gaining a BA and Masters in History. She undertook her PhD at the Australian National University (ANU) and subsequently held academic posts at ANU, Emmanuel College, Cambridge and Birkbeck, University of London.[2]

Bourke, who describes herself as a "socialist feminist",[3] has written on Irish history, gender history, working-class culture, war and masculinity, the cultural history of fear, the history of rape, the history of what it means to be human, pain, and of militarisation.

Bourke lives in London. She is the Director of the Birkbeck Trauma Project (formerly, the Birkbeck Pain Project). In 2014 she was elected a Fellow of the British Academy, the United Kingdom's national academy for the humanities and social sciences.[4]

Selected works[edit]

  • Husbandry and Housewifery: Women, Economic Change and Housework in Ireland, 1890–1914, Oxford University Press, 1993. ISBN 0198203853
  • Working-Class Cultures in Britain, 1890–1960: Gender, Class and Ethnicity, Routledge, 1994. ISBN 0415098971
  • Dismembering the Male: Men's Bodies, Britain and the Great War, Reaktion Press and University of Chicago Press, 1996. ISBN 9781861890351
  • An Intimate History of Killing: Face-to-Face Killing in Twentieth Century Warfare, Granta, 1999, (Won the Fraenkel Prize in Contemporary History for 1998 and the Wolfson Prize for Historical Writing in 2000) ISBN 0465007384
  • Eyewitness, Authentic Voices of the 20th Century, BBC Audiobooks, 2004
  • Fear: A Cultural History, Virago, 2006 (published by Shoemaker and Hoard in the US; shortlisted for Mind Book of the Year Award 2006 (UK)) ISBN 1844081567
  • Rape: A History from the 1860s to the Present, Virago, 2007 (published in the US as Rape: Sex, Violence, History, Shoemaker & Hoard, 2007, ISBN 9781593761141 )
  • What It Means To Be Human. Historical Reflections 1790 to the Present, Virago, 2011 (published by Counterpoint in the US)
  • The Story of Pain: From Prayer to Painkillers, Oxford University Press, 2014. ISBN 9780199689439
  • Wounding the World: How Military Violence and War-Play Invade our Lives, Virago, 2014 (published in the US as Deep Violence: Military Violence, War Play, and the Social Life of Weapons, Counterpoint, 2015) ISBN 9780349004341


  1. ^ Bristol Festival of Ideas 2005 programme Archived 5 February 2007 at the Wayback Machine (.pdf file)
  2. ^ Granta biography page Archived 29 October 2007 at the Wayback Machine on Joanna Bourke
  3. ^ Eithne Farry "'Why aren't we more outraged?'", The Guardian, 5 October 2007. Retrieved on 7 October 2007.
  4. ^ "British Academy announces 42 new fellows". Times Higher Education. 18 July 2014. Retrieved 18 July 2014.

External links[edit]